- A CIA officer who blew the whistle on President Donald Trump first shared their concerns with the House Intelligence Committee before filing an official complaint, The New York Times reported.
- The official reportedly approached a committee aide with their concerns, and the aide told them to obtain a lawyer and get advice about filing a whistleblower complaint through the US intelligence community.
- The aide then conveyed what the whistleblower told them to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.
- The official’s complaint alleges that Trump abused the power of his office and solicited foreign interference from Ukraine in the 2020 election against his political rival.
- “Like other whistle-blowers have done before and since under Republican and Democratic-controlled committees, the whistle-blower contacted the committee for guidance on how to report possible wrongdoing within the jurisdiction of the intelligence community,” Patrick Boland, a spokesman for Schiff, told The Times.
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The CIA officer who made an official whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump told the House Intelligence Committee of their concerns before filing the complaint, The New York Times reported.
The official first conveyed their concerns about the president to the CIA’s top lawyer through a colleague. But when the whistleblower became worried about the way the agency was handling the information, they decided to go to Congress.
According to The Times, the whistleblower approached an aide on the House Intelligence Committee to alert them to the accusation against Trump. At the centre of the complaint is a July 25 phone call Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which he asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son for corruption.
The whistleblower believed Trump’s actions constituted a “flagrant” abuse of power and that he was using his office to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election.
When the whistleblower told the committee aide of their concerns, the aide, following congressional rules, suggested the official get a lawyer to advise him to file an official complaint through the US intelligence community, The Times reported.
The aide then shared some of what the intelligence official had told them with California Rep. Adam Schiff, the panel’s chairman and one of three top House Democrats now conducting an impeachment inquiry into the president.
“Like other whistle-blowers have done before and since under Republican and Democratic-controlled committees, the whistle-blower contacted the committee for guidance on how to report possible wrongdoing within the jurisdiction of the intelligence community,” Patrick Boland, a spokesman for Schiff, told The Times.
Mark Zaid, an attorney for the whistleblower, also told CNN Schiff did not help write the complaint.
The whistleblower said in their complaint that they were “deeply concerned” Trump’s actions constituted “a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, or violation of law or Executive Order” that “does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters,” which is consistent with the definition of an “urgent concern” under federal law.
The allegation was backed up the intelligence community inspector general, Michael Atkinson, who found the complaint to be “credible” and “urgent.”
The complaint is also corroborated significantly by a summary of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky that the White House released last week. The acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, testified to Congress that the complaint is “in alignment” with the White House memo.
In addition to Trump, the document describes his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, as being a “central figure” in the president’s efforts. It said Attorney General William Barr “appears to be involved as well.”
It also recently surfaced that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was a participant in the call, raising questions about his earlier claims denying knowledge of any of the events described in the whistleblower’s complaint.
The State Department’s inspector general is also testifying to Congress on Wednesday about efforts to intimidate department employees and prevent them from cooperating with House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Trump.
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